Women’s genitals are been mutilated

girlIn a shocking revelation the fact that female genital mutilation (FGM) is been practiced among several communities have been reveled. According to Colombo based Zainab Ibrahim & Ermiza Tegal Secrecy about FGM in Sri Lanka is both imposed and internalized. Women who have experienced FGM are silenced.

“Just a nick”

According to the Aljazera report:In December 2017 a news story broke the public silence on FGM, opening a contentious debate. Spokespersons for some sections of the Muslim communities in Sri Lanka confirmed the practice of cutting but have taken pains to make a distinction between FGM and “female circumcision”. They argue that what happens in Sri Lanka is “just a nick” of a girl’s clitoris that does not constitute mutilation. This distinction is not recognised by the World Health Organisation ; the types of FGM it classifies include forms described as “just a nick”.

It is said that FGM is practiced within the Moor, Malay and Dawoodi Bohra ethnic communities in Sri Lanka. Zainab & Ermiza have been able to speak to several women who have had to undergo FGM.

Moor and Malay women speak of a practice done at 40 days after birth by an “Osthi mami”, a medically untrained woman who carries out the “ritual”. Shaving blades are used and there is no mention of sterilisation. What exactly is nicked and how deep the nick is is left to the untrained “Osthi mami” to decide. Blood is drawn and sometimes ash is sprinkled on the wound.

Dawoodi Bohra women describe experiencing cutting at age seven, usually by medical professionals. Some have recounted traumatic memories of the procedure, of being pinned down on tables, feeling pain between their legs and feeling pain when passing urine for days after.

Some mothers have expressed regret with hindsight at having done this to their children. For others, it has strained their relationships with parents. A 27 year-old Sri Lankan woman who got herself medically examined as an adult, found part of her clitoris and labia had been cut when she was a child. Another woman testified to experiencing pain during sexual intercourse as an adult, due to nerves being exposed when she was cut as a child.

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